Joanna Biggs writes:

A half-painted wall, a bowl with a wobbly lip, the cracked shell of a crab, hair that hasn’t been brushed yet that morning: there is a certain beauty in unfinished things. It is a sort of beauty that is uncalled-for, unearned even, and so it is annoying too: the crosshatched brushstrokes of white emulsion are accidental; the crab’s golden-orange back is just on its way to ruin; the expensive haircut looks its best after eight hours of your lying on it. The beauty doesn’t last – it isn’t meant to. It is something that happens along the way, that surges up out of almost nowhere. Sometimes it is the only sort available, and to believe in it may be the only way of getting things done.

(LRB 2 August 2018)

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